Featuring scanned imagery from a diverse selection of volumes found in vintage bookshops as well as a local flea market in the digital curator’s small Italian hometown, Instagram account @__________office, as its bio eloquently puts, is “a love letter to the golden age of corporate kitsch.” Its early posts look like location mood boards for a computer commercial circa the mid-90s, while more recent updates cover everything from workplace fashions, to an American flag rendered in bricks, and an intriguing clock aquarium hybrid.
Embracing varied settings, such as home workspaces, corporate offices, and impressive foyers, the page’s decidedly anonymous administrator has long been interested in interior design, the birth of computing, and the 80s. While there seems to be no set requisite for a post on @__________office, now a little over a year old and boasting close to 27k followers, its curator highlights familiar working environment tropes, like the photocopier room and vending machine corner we are so used to seeing in film and television of the late 80s and early-mid 90s.
When the pharmaceutical firm Burroughs Wellcome chose to move its headquarters from suburban New York to North Carolina in 1969, it commissioned celebrated modernist architect Paul Rudolph to create its new offices. The building, the interior of which is highlighted by @__________office, has been described as a spacecraft, honeycomb, or beehive over the years, owing largely to its modular hexagonal pod sections bubbling forth from the building’s main bulk and erupting from one another with an almost organic-seeming lack of order and symmetry.
Elsewhere on the page, a vibrant office set-up references the work of the Memphis Group. Founded in 1980 by Ettore Sottsass and comprised of Italian designers and architects who collectively disagreed with the conformist style of design at the time, the collective’s use of colours, haphazard arrangements and brightly hued plastic laminate was previously unseen. Archiving flamboyantly decorated spaces, like this one, alongside open-plan and minimalistic offices with subdued furniture and sumptuous greenery, @__________office offers a unique and broad perspective on the corporate aesthetics of the late 20th century.
Feature image: Burroughs Wellcome Office HQ, North Carolina, 1972 (via @__________office)